Do You, You, Feel Like I Do

Do any of you experience ASMR:

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a term used for an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. It has been compared with auditory-tactile synesthesia.[1][2] ASMR signifies the subjective experience of “low-grade euphoria” characterised by “a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin”. It is most commonly triggered by specific acoustic, visual and digital media stimuli, and less commonly by intentional attentional control.[3][4]

I get it for a lot of different kinds of music, and a lot of people who experience it during Bob Ross’s show, of all things. For me it rolls down my forearms, my back and neck, and it makes my hair stand up. It really feels great. Here’s how random it is for me- the following two songs set me off:

When the backup singers and Kanye sing “Aww hecky naw that boy is raw” it just explodes down my forearms.

Here’s another one:

As soon as the music starts I get it mildly, but then when she starts singing, it just blows up.

What songs set you off if you experience this.

129 replies
  1. 1
    Ohio Mom says:

    No, never experienced anything like that at all. Jealous.

  2. 2
    Waynski says:

    I haven’t experienced it, but it sounds like fun.

  3. 3
    Joeg says:

    Somebody to Love. Queen

    Mercury’s voice, with full backing, is at its finest.

  4. 4

    Man, I never heard of that, but now I feel kind of envious that I don’t get that.

  5. 5
    WV Blondie says:

    The very first time I heard Marc Cohn sing “Walkin’ in Memphis,” before it blew up into a big hit, really stands out in my memory. Still happens every time I hear it.

  6. 6
    The Moar You Know says:

    As a musician, it’s probably best I don’t. But I am somewhat envious. Sounds like fun.

  7. 7
    NCSteve says:

    Wait. That doesn’t happen to everyone? And it has a name? Huh.

  8. 8
    ALurkSupreme says:

    Cool. I must have ASMR, then — never knew there was a name for it. Thanks, John.

    Won’t be clicking the links, though. No time for ASMR or earworms right now. (Although I now have a certain Frampton tune in my head. You bastard.)

  9. 9
    donnah says:

    I get this all the time. I call it my goosebump reaction to songs.

    For me, it’s songs by Radical Face, a sort of folksy band created by Ben Cooper. He has an album called Family Tree: The Roots. I can listen to Severus and Stone and The Dead Waltz from that album and get shivers every single time. You should find the Dead Waltz on youtube and see what I mean.

    I actually love every song on that album, but these two give me genuine goosebumps. And I do get that sensation from lots of other songs, too. I’ve always had it.

  10. 10
    geg6 says:

    Last time a song hit me like that was when American Idiot came out. I can say for sure that Miley and Kanye will never hit my sweet spot the way they do you. Ugh.

  11. 11
    Death Panel Truck says:

    Yes, mainly when I listen to The Move’s “Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited.” It incorporates elements of Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and Tchaikovsky’s “Thé” [the Chinese Dance] from The Nutcracker, performed with nothing more than guitar, bass and drums. Roy Wood was a genius.

  12. 12
    jl says:

    Yes. Miscellaneous music. Usually English baroque, Classical period classical, and good hip hop with a good beat can dance to it.
    I don’t have to go look. It’s kind of sporadic with me, depends on my mood.

    Will the doctor give me some drugs for this? Or do I need to find my own?

  13. 13
    Nicole says:

    @geg6: “She’s a Rebel” on that album did it to me!

    Also, Colin Hayes’ acoustic version of “Overkill.” And the last lines of “Danny Boy” on Belafonte Live at Carnegie Hall.

  14. 14
    blackcatsrule says:

    I only found out recently that this had a name, and there is a treasure trove of videos on Youtube for various “triggers”. Music does not do anything for me, probably because I have a tin ear, but certain sounds do, such as rustling paper. I’ve been watching/listening to a lot more of these type of videos lately to help with orange satan induced insomnia.

  15. 15
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Have to say, Donna Lewis’ I Love You, Always Forever always gives me pretty good feels. Don’t know if childhood nostalgia has more to do with that or not, since I heard it all the time on the radio when I was very young. Barely Breathing by Duncan Sheik and I’m Like a Bird by Nelly Furtado are also really cool. Those last two songs, to me, are so quintessentially 90’s Pop, while I Love You, Always Forever could have come out in the late 80s.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    Did a quick test, Moby & Public Enemy – Make Love Fuck War
    Not a feel good song though. I’ll try to think of feel good thing that does it.

  17. 17
    condorcet runner-up says:

    Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” during the subtle interval change on the harmony as they sing “you might use it if you feel better … “

  18. 18
    debit says:

    Capriccio Italian

    There’s a point where the music feels like this vast, heavy object that the orchestra picks up and begins to move, slow and ponderous at first and then faster and faster until it’s almost whirling around the room in this sort of joyously feverish delirium until the triumphant crash at the end. Man, it never fails to give me the effect John describes above, usually along with tears.

  19. 19
    Old School says:

    I’m no expert on the subject, but it appears what most people are describing in the comments is known as “frisson.” That is a shiver commonly caused by music.

    Per the Wikipedia article, ASMR triggers include:

    – Listening to a softly spoken or whispering voice
    – Listening to quiet, repetitive sounds resulting from someone engaging in a mundane task such as turning the pages of a book
    – Watching somebody attentively execute a mundane task such as preparing food
    – Receiving altruistic tender personal attention
    – Initiating the stimulus through conscious manipulation without the need for external video or audio triggers

    I used to get this as a child watching someone perform a task, but as an adult, I can’t recall the last time I’ve experienced it.

  20. 20
    cmorenc says:

    That Kayne West song might induce shingles, but never tingles in me if I left it on any longer than it took to reflexively jump for the control knob of whatever device it was playing on to shut the damn thing off. He’s a piece of crap, and so is his so-called music.

    OTOH, Miley Cyrus has genuine music / singing talent worth listening to, if you can get overlook her sometimes bad-ass girl persona.

  21. 21
    germy says:

    I get it from watching old 1930s movies where the soundtrack has lots of “surface noise”

  22. 22
    Juju says:

    @Joeg: “Game of Love” does it for me. I miss Freddie Mercury’s voice. Also “Killer Queen”.

  23. 23
    germy says:

    I can trigger it in my cat if I whisper to her while she’s on my lap. She’s start purring loudly, which triggers mine. So it becomes a loop.

  24. 24
    VeniceRiley says:

    Orgasms. Not even kidding.

  25. 25
    eponymous says:

    As previous commenters have noted, it’s not just music but various soft whispery sounds. Many youtube videos have ASMR as a subject. If music doesn’t do it for you, you might try one of them. Manley ASMR is pretty funny, and I would link, but I’m not going to risk it until I feel a bit more confident posting here. You can find it pretty easily through the googles.

  26. 26
    germy says:

    Believe it or not there’s a “Rule 34” for ASMR.

    (Quite a few internet ladies utilize it in their cam videos. A friend told me about this.)

  27. 27
    coin operated says:

    Rush can do this to me…
    Red Barchetta…from Exit Stage Left.
    Mission…from A Show of Hands.

    Got tingles just thinking about it.

  28. 28
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @cmorenc: Tell us how you feel about Kanye!! Come on now. Don’t hold back. Actually because of his behavior, I can’t listen to him although some of his songs are pretty cool. “Jesus Walks”, “Gold Digger” and his “FourFiveSeconds” collaboration with Paul McCartney and Rihanna stand out.

  29. 29
    germy says:

    @Patricia Kayden: His other collaboration with McCartney, “Only One” is very moving.

    It’s his mother (and McCartney’s mom) singing to them from heaven.

  30. 30
    trollhattan says:

    @Death Panel Truck:
    “Lock me in and throw the key away.”
    I may be the only other one here who knows that song. Roy Wood forevah.

    As soon as I hear Niko Case or Alison Krause’s voice, it’s instant goosebumps. Certain, but not all k.d. lange songs also, too.

  31. 31
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @coin operated: “Suburbs” by Rush would be a contender for this ASMR thingamajig.

  32. 32
    wesindc says:

    Oddly Bauhaus Bela Gosi is dead for me. Guess it was my goth youth upbringing.

  33. 33
    Yutsano says:

    @cmorenc: Look up the cover of her godmother’s song “Jolene”. She definitely is a LOT better with just her voice and a small accompaniment.
    Also: how cool would it be to have Dolly as a godmother?

    And to answer your question, Doug! :”O Fortuna” live, although when I heard a symphony do “Duel of the Fates” live with a 200 voice choir…BAM!

  34. 34
    Emma says:

    Orff’s Carmina Burana. There’s an old BBC Proms performance that just nails it for me.

    One question: is there a name for the reverse? Usually a piece of music everyone loves and it gives you the heebie-jeebies? Mine is The Moonlight Sonata. Funny enough, I found out recently that a number of professional pianists also find it less than pleasing. Now the Hammerklavier… yeah. That one raises the goosebumps.

  35. 35
    Laura says:

    All. The. Time. All my life. Had no idea there was a name for it.
    Most recently experienced this at a music festival in San Francisco. Randy Newman did a Sunday morning set. It feels like a scalp tingle that spreads. Then it reaches the heart and straight onto the soul. It is less intense with a recorded song, but live music just hits that joy buzzer.
    I give/get “good audience.”

  36. 36
    Yutsano says:

    @Emma: Do they do all 14 movements? There’s some really neat works in there.

  37. 37
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @germy: Okay. Never heard of that one. Will have to look it up. Thanks.

  38. 38
    germy says:


    One question: is there a name for the reverse? Usually a piece of music everyone loves and it gives you the heebie-jeebies?

    Not a specific piece of music, but any recording that is highly compressed so that every instrument is LOUD. That seems to be the fashion with some contemporary audio engineers. Some audiophiles call it “the loudness wars”.

    A recording that has dynamics; some quiet passages with some louder parts is most pleasing to me.

  39. 39
    MrBarky says:

    There’s an episode on This American Life about this. It’s the soft whispering that triggers it. There’s a whole subculture based on youtube videos.

  40. 40
    germy says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    “You’re not perfect but you’re not your mistakes”

  41. 41
    Emma says:

    @Yutsano: Actually, now that you mention it — I don’t know! With this piece I just sink into it. Hadn’t paid attention to the details. It’s about the average length, a bit over an hour, but I do know that often some of the poems are cut. (added) Originally there were 24 poems plus a reprise of Fortuna IIRC but the arrangement vary.

  42. 42
    debbie says:

    Yes. Life stops for a handful of songs, and this is the signal I receive because my brain is slower than my soul.

  43. 43
    ThresherK says:

    Never thought about this, but I get it from harmonies. A number of guitarist / bassist combos also sing great togther:

    Stuart Adamson & Tony Butler in Big Country.
    Jeff Lynne & Kelly Grocutt in ELO.
    Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding in XTC.

    Frida & Agnetha in ABBA,

  44. 44
    jackmac says:

    I don’t get all tingly like Cole, but I do really like the Miley song.

  45. 45
    Sherry Pisacano says:

    The Who, You Better You Bet . . . every time.

  46. 46
    Petorado says:

    Los Lobos “One Time One Night in America” – When the guitar and the accordion lift up from the minor to the major key at around 2:28 into the song it gets me every time. The band does a brilliant job of shifting from singing about everyday tragic vignettes to a beautifully uplifting melody. Brilliant.

  47. 47
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @germy: Lovely song. I don’t know where the hell the onions came from but my eyes are watering. I love how the accompanying music sounds very unpolished but beautiful at the same time.

  48. 48
    FlipYrWhig says:

    This sounds kind of like the fingernails-on-a-blackboard effect but… good.

  49. 49
    Anotherlurker says:

    Ry Cooder’s “Jazz” album does it for me, along with countless other pieces of Music.
    Bethoven, Symphony # 5 is another.

  50. 50
    Tony A. says:

    I get it, but songs do not set me off.
    Someone has to do something nice for me, and only me.
    For example, my older sister and I did not get along when I was growing up, but I remember one morning when she started brushing my hair. No reason, she just felt like it apparently. That set off my ASMR. Just thinking about this event, which happened like 40 years ago, will set it off to this day.

  51. 51

    What about that feeling that starts in the very upper spine & goes to one’s shoulder blades when hearing chalk on a blackboard (I know, doesn’t happen much in today’s whiteboard & marker world.) or a fork squeaking the right note on porcelain? Actually, just thinking of it gives me the reaction, ‘though not as strong as the actual squeak.

    I have exploding head syndrome too. In every possible sense of the phrase.

  52. 52
    bystander says:

    Mahavishnu John McLaughlin and Santana concert, 1975?

  53. 53
    Bud says:

    Believe it or not, I kept this a secret most of my life because I thought I was weird, but I’ve been experiencing ASMR since I was a kid. It is almost always certain “wet” voices, but includes bumping sounds like heavy paper and puzzle pieces, along with images of soft materials sliding against each other. I never realized that other people experience these sensations until a few years ago, and I it was a thrill to relate to others what I’d always found slightly embarrassing and private. But ASMR rocks, and when I need to relax all I have to do is call up one my favorite YouTube videos and let the ecstasy carry me away.

  54. 54
    Suezboo says:

    Un bel di from Madama Butterfly gets me where I live every time.

  55. 55
    catclub says:

    @Old School: isn’t there a group that identified Bob Ross videos as triggering it – which makes for a strange

  56. 56
    rikyrah says:

    Dancing Queen
    Four Seasons-OH what a night
    I need a Hero
    The theme from Hunt for Red October
    The Jacksons- Can You Feel It
    Purple Rain

  57. 57
    catclub says:

    @MrBarky: beat me to it. – thanks – TAL

    ETA: also, with that screen name, more people might know you are a dog on the internet.

  58. 58
    A Ghost to Not says:

    “Dixie Chicken” from “Waiting for Columbus”, when the horn interlude starts, is a prime example for me.

    “Bodhisattva” (sp?) by Steely Dan is another. And “Get Out of Denver” from Live Bullet.

  59. 59
    rikyrah says:

    Ravel’s Bolero

  60. 60
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The earliest it happened to me (AFAIR) was when I was about three years old and heard the “Skye Boat Song” for the first time. Started me on a lifetime of loving Scottish music, and barcarolles of any origin.

    Most, although far from all, of my ASMR-like responses, happen on hearing an ensemble or choir of French horns. Examples: the opening notes of the overture to Hänsel und Gretel, the trio section of the Scherzo movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”), and even the “Wolf” theme from “Peter and the Wolf.” Something about horns and the harmonics they set up in each other sets everything a-tingling. Just a beautiful, otherworldly sound.

    Another moment that invariably brings out the goosebumps, shivers, and prickles for me is in the first movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. Properly done, it offers 30 seconds or so of nearly unbearable anticipation followed by an almost orgasmic release and resolution.

  61. 61
    Yutsano says:

    @Emma: You’re right that it is 24 poems but it is divided into 5 parts. I do know it’s very vocally challenging and it dominates a performance because you literally can’t do anything after that without serious vocal strain. But if you can ever hear it live…it’s phenomenal.

  62. 62
    Steve in the ATL says:


    Although I now have a certain Frampton tune in my head. You bastard.

    Shit like this is why B-J will never be a top 10,000 blog!

  63. 63
    RoonieRoo says:

    I never knew it was called anything. For myself, I always called it “being inside the music”. When I played in band/orchestra I would get it all the time. As I got older, I figured out the songs/singers that I could cause it with. I had absolutely no clue this was something others experienced and just thought I was weird.

  64. 64
    ruemara says:

    Do you mean getting the chills? That happens a lot. Sinead O’Connor is good for it.

  65. 65
    Emma says:

    @Yutsano: Bucket list item #1. I’ve only heard excerpts live. Not enough.

  66. 66
    MD Rackham says:

    Music is my trigger too. King Crimson’s Starless gets me every time right at the end when the main theme re-emerges from the “noise.”

    Plus a lot of classical music, especially Mahler’s Ninth.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    Old School says:

    @catclub: Yes, John mentioned them in his original post. Goggle tells me there is a Reddit community for them, but I’m not going to search them out.

  69. 69
    MattF says:

    Well, I’ll be damned. It happened exactly like you said, when Cyrus started singing. I’m… boggled.

  70. 70
    Sean says:

    I get it (a little less frequently with age) from certain spoken voice tones. Could be a real problem when in class with profs who had the tone – very easy to just zone out.

  71. 71
    eponymous says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I also find the Sibelius Symphony #2 (1st movement, I think) to have that swelling and release feel to it that is almost orgasmic.

  72. 72
    RoonieRoo says:

    @ruemara: For me, it’s different than just getting the chills. It’s more encompassing.

  73. 73
    Betty Cracker says:

    When I was a tween, my uber-religious grandma tried to explain why some Foghat song I was listening to was from the Devil’s jukebox. But she was hamstrung in that endeavor by her unwillingness to mention S-E-X.

    In retrospect, the conversation was hilarious. She explained that some music made a person want to go off and fight a war (I think Sousa marches got a shout-out here), while hymns brought a person closer to God. I honestly didn’t understand what she was getting at and replied that Foghat didn’t make me want to fight, and she concluded that some music could inspire one to do indeterminate bad things.

    Whatever, Grandma. That said, I am not sure I’ve experienced the phenomenon described, but I can’t listen to opera without sobbing, the second movement of Beethoven’s 7th symphony makes me gloomy, etc. And that Kanye song made me want to take a baseball bat to my laptop — but I feel that way about all Kanye songs.

  74. 74
    aliasofwestgate says:

    A couple of Hisaishi Joe scores that he did for Miyazaki’s films do it for me. Particular tracks being Procession of the Spirits from Spirited Away and Demon God from Princess Mononoke. There aren’t a lot of pop/rock songs that do that for me. Probably because i’m a former choir girl. So instrumentals tend to give me chills compared to things i can sing or have sung.

  75. 75
    debbie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    the second movement of Beethoven’s 7th symphony makes me gloom

    It doesn’t make me feel gloomy, but if I heard it twice in a row, I would probably start crying.

  76. 76
    Misamericanthrope says:

    Years ago, when I encountered the term, I had assumed everybody experiences. for me, a strong one will surge down the spine from the scalp and out my arms or my legs. I have even experienced it when I attempt to discuss the phenomenon with another!

    One of the most reliable triggers for me is “The Big Ship” from Brian Eno’s “Another Green World”.

  77. 77
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    And that Kanye song made me want to take a baseball bat to my laptop — but I feel that way about all Kanye songs.

    LOL!! I’m gonna let you finish, Betty, but ….

  78. 78
    NotMax says:

    Do any of you experience ASMR

    No, never.

  79. 79
    Lynn Dee says:

    I first got it (I think) with the sound of people whispering in the library. The low or muffled voices of people talking in another room will do it too.

  80. 80
    Spirula says:

    Not sure it qualifies as ASMR, but for me this is the closest (Cocteau Twins)

  81. 81
    Don says:

    “The first time ever I saw your face,” Roberta Flack. Anything performed by Voces8.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    Fair Economist says:

    I get AMSR, although much less than when I was younger. Music is the most common trigger for me, but I get it in all kinds of different situations. In 11th grade I mentioned it to my English teacher and said I had no idea why it happens. She asked, “Does it happen when you really enjoy something?” and I realized that is part of it, although not all.
    @Misamericanthrope: Nothing does it reliably for me – I need a certain amount of surprise factor.

  84. 84
    remima says:

    @Betty Cracker: LOL this reminded me of a similar conversation with my mom after she found, under my bed, a contraband cassette tape (taped off the radio) with Broken Wings by Mr Mister on it. She just couldn’t bring herself to say the S word. I’ve finally forgiven her for the snooping, and I’m only recently able to laugh at the memory! (I was raised third generation JW…)

  85. 85
  86. 86
    Fair Economist says:

    @M. Bouffant:

    I have exploding head syndrome too. In every possible sense of the phrase.

    I get something like that, but I don’t hear noises. I feel like there’s an electric jolt to my scalp. It happens most often when I’m falling asleep and get woken up. Sudden noises do it too if I’m concentrating. It’s usually mildly unpleasant, but occasionally it’s pretty nasty.

  87. 87
    John Cole says:

    I like Kanye. What can I say?

  88. 88
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Yes, indeed. I should have mentioned Sibelius. There’s an intensity to both the Second and Fifth Symphonies that I have to parcel out rather carefully.

    Really, there are many, many works that give me the prickly-orgasmic-goosebumpy reaction. So many, in fact, that I’m not sure I even notice them much: the shivers and ASMR are, for me, so much a part of the work in question (whatever it might be) that at this point it hardly registers. Now that I’m freshly attuned to the phenomenon, I’ll pay more attention.

    There are also, of course, works that bring me to sobs every time I hear them. Primary among them is the Schubert Lied “Du bist die Ruh.” First time I ever heard it was in a Hunter College class on song structure (this was in the late 1960s) and I burst into tears, it was so fucking beautiful and moving, and I felt like a bloody fool until I glanced over at the professor and he was looking at me and he also had tears in his eyes. Here’s an ugly naked link to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing it, because my iPad is infested with poltergeists and will not let me embed:

    I also have things that make me shiver and carry on because of emotional connections. In the week when my mother was lying comatose in a hospital, between suffering a cerebral haemorrhage one Sunday and dying without regaining consciousness exactly seven days later (42 years ago this very week, as it happens), I obsessively listened to Dvořák’s “American” Quartet and Quintet (Opp. 96 and 97 respectively). I probably played my LP (Budapest String Quartet) close to a hundred times, just over and over and over again. The music soothed me, somehow, and still does. But it’s not at all morbid. I don’t feel sad when I hear it, although I always remember that feeling of knowing my young (58) mother was dying. The music itself is energetic and ebullient and life-affirming, and that’s always my takeaway.

  89. 89
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    No, never.

    What, never?

  90. 90
    normal liberal says:

    I’ve had this very occasionally for ages, but didn’t know it had a name. It’s not always sound, although looking back maybe it’s been sound I wasn’t aware I was hearing. It’s not always pleasant-I had the scalp thing once while I was driving on one of our local interstates, speeding as usual. It was so intense in a not-good way that the top of my head went numb, leading me to think I was having some exotic sort of stroke and was about to die in a high- speed crash.
    I probably did have the radio on.

  91. 91
    Fair Economist says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Looking at the research articles makes it clear not everybody gets it, although I can’t find any estimates on incidence. I remember that before I mentioned it to my English teacher in high school that most people I’d mentioned it too had no idea what I was talking about.

    Sibelius 5 is intense for me as well, especially the concluding chord sequence. #2 not so much, although I do like it.

  92. 92
    eponymous says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: …well… hardly ever

  93. 93
    NotMax says:


    Not even when I polish up the handle on the big front door.


  94. 94
    SiubhanDuinne says:



  95. 95
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Fair Economist:

    I remember that before I mentioned it to my English teacher in high school that most people I’d mentioned it too had no idea what I was talking about.

    The same was true of synesthesia, twenty or so years ago. Today it’s a fairly commonly accepted phenomenon.

    I have a theory* that we are all, or mostly all, born synesthetic but that it is trained or scared or disciplined out of us, so only a relatively few people are able to access it much past infancy.

    *it is my theory, and what it is too

  96. 96
    BretH ok says:

    Very end of “Supper’s Ready” by Genesis.

  97. 97

    For me it is Indian semi-classical music, mostly the devotional variety both Bhakti (mystical Hindu tradition) and Sufi (mystical Islamic tradition)
    Aruni Kirani (Arun==sun, kiran==ray), starts at 49.45 in the Jukebox. It is the climax of the musical in Marathi, Katyar Kaljat Ghusli (Dagger through the heart)
    Sung by Mahesh Kale who was techie in SF, who gave it up for his first passion, music. He won the National Award for a male vocalist in 2016. National Awards in cinema span all cinema in all of India’s languages not just Hindi.
    Also too, Queen, especially when Freddie belts it out. Somebody to love me,
    The show must go on
    Who wants to live forever
    And many more..
    ETA: If you are fan of tabla, the tabla in Aruni Kirani is awesome too.

  98. 98
    David Evans says:

    The romantic symphonies – Brahms, Sibelius etc – will sometimes do it for me. It’s often associated with a subtle change in key or rhythm. The videos intended to trigger ASMR don’t do it.

    What does do it, quite often, is anyone speaking English rather hesitantly with a strong foreign accent. Chinese and German are especially good. I have no explanation for this. I might have heard German accents at an impressionable age but certainly not Chinese.

  99. 99
    Motivated Seller says:

    Conan the Barbarian soundtrack by Basil Poledouris. Track 12.

    Also “Come on Ilene” by Dexys midnight runners.

  100. 100
    Bonnie says:

    “Badlands” by Bruce Springsteen, especially when he gets to the part of spitting “in the face of these badlands.”

  101. 101
  102. 102
    fuckwit says:

    the bridge of “i can see clearly now” is the most amazing thing ever written.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @David Evans:

    What does do it, quite often, is anyone speaking English rather hesitantly with a strong foreign accent.

    That is truly fascinating. I hope there’s some budding psycholinguist out there who would be interested in pursuing this particular phenomenon.

    If I had numerous lives to live, I would use one of them to study both linghustics and musicology, and the connections between music and language (and topography — I think it’s no accident that people from mountainous rocky high-elevation snow-covered regions produce very different languages and musical vocabularies than people from warm languid seafaring areas.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Fair Economist:

    I remember that before I mentioned it to my English teacher in high school that most people I’d mentioned it too had no idea what I was talking about.

    The same was true of synesthesia, twenty or so years ago. Today it’s a fairly commonly accepted phenomenon.

    I have a theory* that we are all, or mostly all, born synesthetic but that it is trained or scared or disciplined out of us, so only a relatively few people are able to access it much past infancy.

    *it is my theory, and it is mine, and what it is too

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    NotMax says:


    There was a humorous theory posited by Biff Rose about why Minnesotans speak as they do.

    “It’s the winters. They have to click their teeth together to create heat in their head.”

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    Jay Noble says:

    “Somewhere Out There” from An American Tale – soundtrack or Linda Ronstadt duet – gets me and makes me cry! Music isn’t my main trigger but it certainly be one, especially back when I was in marching band/pep band. To have all of your sense just sync at once . . . Athletes “in the zone” aint’ got nothng on that feeling!

    My main trigger is watching head/neck/shoulder massage. Head tingles and spreads.

    I do have an unfortunate bad version of ASMR which is seeing people walk (or run) barefoot on concrete or rough surfaces. Shudders that start from the feet and move up

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    John Revolta says:

    Yes! I get this, although less frequently as I get older. What brings it on most reliably is mime, of all things. I used to get it in my sleep, very intense, mainly during flying dreams, but it’s been awhile. It also feels similar to when I’m coming out of an epileptic seizure (which fortunately has also been a while).

    ETA: also the 12-string solos in Cream’s “Dance the Night Away”.

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    Opening synthesizer on Rush 2112.

    By the title I thought this was an Arkon DougJ post.

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    Shana says:

    @jl: I think the music IS the drug that makes you feel better.

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    Currants says:

    @NCSteve: YES. Wow. Cool.

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    Uncle Omar says:

    1) Bagpipes, every time;
    2) “Ode to Joy;”
    3) The first time I heard “Uncle John’s Band” nearly 50 years ago.

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    John Revolta says:

    @Uncle Omar: Funnily enough, the “Ode to Joy” is one of the few classical pieces that can be played on the bagpipes without having to change it around at all. Try that sometime!

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    Matt McIrvin says:

    Sometimes, but it’s really unpredictable and rare.

    The title of this post reminds me that when I was in college I thought Frampton’s “talking guitar” was some kind of amazing string-bending technique; I was a little disappointed to learn later that he was just using a clever gadget to modulate the sound with his vocal tract.

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    Matt Smith says:

    I experience this, but the triggers aren’t audio. I can get triggered from radiant warmth, like from sunlight or a fire; from emotional experiences, like the crowd at a sports game or a music event; or I can often trigger it consciously. Sometimes if I want to trigger it, it takes concentration. And sometimes it helps to touch my neck/shoulders. To me, it seems really weird that others get this from audio triggers… lol.

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    slag says:

    Certain recordings of Jimi Hendrix—Hey Joe.

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    janeform says:

    Lorraine Hunt Lieberson singing Handel’s As With Rosy Steps the Morn and Ombra Mai Fu. Stunning.

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    Amir Khalid says:

    Anything sung and/or written by Patti Scialfa. It’s a crying shame that she’s known only for being in her husband’s band.

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    Sandia Blanca says:

    @Lynn Dee: YES! Whispering in the library is the ultimate high. Now that I work in a cubicle world, there are some people whose voices I can’t wait to hear from afar. For some reason, it is important that I not hear the actual words being spoken.

    My other ASMR triggers are listening to someone write (on paper, preferably with a pencil or pen), or use a marker, or draw. Never knew others felt this until recently, and it was wonderful to know there are many of us.

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    peteandsun says:

    I just kind of glanced at the title of your post this morning without much thought. But, and I’m way older than you, Peter Frampton’s song, “Do You Feel Like I/We Do” definitely brings it on at the end of the song when he comes off of the voice synthesizer. I think that album (Frampton Comes Alive) was the first live album that sounded really good. I just googled it and listened to the song for the first time in many years and, yep, goose bumps.

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    pappenheimer says:

    Used to be able to trigger that sensation reliably with Jethro Tull’s ‘Weathercock” at the point where drums kick in, but I seemed to have burned that out in college. Then, years later, my wife put on Sinead O’Connor singing “the Foggy, Foggy Dew,” which gave me the same sensation, and held me stock still until the end with tears in my eyes. And no, I’m not particularly Celtic in ancestry.

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    Amir Khalid says:

    @Jay Noble:
    For me, it’s the version with the kids’ voices that has all the heart and the magic. By comparison, even though Ronstadt and James Ingram are great singers, the adults’ version sounds like a rather ordinary love song.

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    TerryC says:

    I get this when I learn something radically new that upsets what I thought I knew, and also sometimes from music.

    The first time I stood on a disc golf course tee pad and threw my first drive, I experienced this as a full body sensation. and that did indeed turn out to be a life transforming moment for me, as I have since won three old guy world champion titles and am much more fit now, 18 years later, at 70 than I otherwise would be. My guess is that my body-mind gestalt knew this was a life changing moment.

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    russell says:

    a dose of niacin on an empty stomach does it for me

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    zonker says:

    Emmylou Harris – Jerusalem Tomorrow. Heard this song still a whole bar one night when it came on the jukebox.

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    daveX99 says:

    I read this last nite and thought ‘How interesting… I have had strong emotional responses to songs before, but not like what Cole is describing.”

    … And just now it happened when this David Bazan song came on (this is a solo album, but he’s from Pedro the Lion, I think…). My hair stood up on part of my head – wait for the vocals to start. Weird!

    [ALSO WEIRD: I used the ‘link’ button to but a link to youtube here, but it doesn’t show up… here it is in plain text: ]

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    taxesmycredulity says:

    What a wonderful thread! I’m hoping that a lot of the folks who have never experienced ASMR will, sooner rather than later, know this experience. You’ve been opened to it now and may allow yourselves to be open to something new.

    I, myself, have regularly experienced this low-grade euphoria (ASMR) through a variety of music and film, but there was one time when it was so physically, sensually, and intellectually multi layered that it passed beyond low-grade euphoria to something else, something unknown. And I was overwhelmed!

    The components of this multi-sensory experience were: while cradling my 2-month old daughter at a window on a gloomy day, the sun suddenly burst onto her face: she locked her eyes on mine and smiled for the first time and so joyously and alertly that I was gobsmacked. Simultaneoudly, the radio was playing The Hollies tune The Air That I Breathe. Just when the sunlight struck my baby girl and she smiled, the lyrics were cresendoeing into “All I need is the air that I breathe and to love you.”

    Time stopped, every hair on my body stood on end, and I swear I thought I understood the Universe. Unfortunately, I had misinterpreted this and assumed this was The Religious Experience. I attributed it to the Christian God and spent 2 years trying to validate my conclusion. Happily I questioned myself right out of that erroneous assumption and ended up learning a lot about the major religions of the world in the process. So that was good. :-)

    Thank you, John Cole, for featuring and elucidating ASMR.

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